Water policy informatics : a topic and time series analysis of the Texas state water plans

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Wehner, Jenifer Elizabeth

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The disciplines of informatics and information visualization have developed in response to societal needs to find new insight in complex datasets and have been enabled by technological advancements. Joint application of these fields can demonstrate themes and connections that are otherwise not apparent. Methodological approaches, such as direct network analysis, can be applied to policy documents to determine if action or policy recommendations match the goals or objectives stated in the within the same documents. Informatics and information visualization can also be used to analyze changes of themes found within the documents over time. This paper seeks to leverage informatics and information visualization methodologies as a novel approach to policy analysis. In particular, directed network and time burst techniques are used to analyze water management policy documents for the State of Texas. The congruency between the stated goals or objectives and recommendations sections is evaluated at a topical level within each planning document and possible changes in important water policy concepts over time are highlighted by comparing among multiple planning documents. Although there limitations to the process at the time of publication due to the newness of the software utilized, this paper demonstrates that the products still lead to unique and insightful conclusions.



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